Google has tons of options and URL parameters defining its geo-location settings. In fact, there are so many of them that it is easy to get lost. This post attempts to provide a clear-cut tutorial on how to see search results for other languages and locations:
1. Search Google for Pages in the Specified Language
You can force Google to only search within pages in any language you want. For that you will need to use the following URL parameter:
(in combination with any language code you can find here)
This URL parameter only affects the language of the current page. It doesn’t matter where the page or the site originates from.
2. See Pages Originating from Any Country
There’s no secret that Google uses server location as one of the facts determining the location and targeting of the site itself. To force Google to show you only pages from a specific country (by server location) you can use the following URL parameter:
Substitute the two dots you see above with a country code you can find here.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are quite a few .com results in the search results. But if you run a domain whois lookup, you will see that all the domains are hosted in the specified country (which is Estonia in our example).
If you use any local Google search engines (other than Google.com), you might see this option in your search sidebar – it prompts you to restrict results to only pages from your country.
3. Search Results as They Would Appear in Any Other Country
While the above two search URL parameters create somewhat “artificial” filtering, this one actually shows you exactly what you would have seen if you were searching from the chosen location (with some differences as there would be no local personalization of the results):
Again, substitute the two dots you see above with a country code you can find here.
The parameter doesn’t change your language preference as well:
This parameter would also affect Google Advertisements you see above or next to the search results.
If you have to deal with different locations when searching, you will find this FireFox addon very useful: Google Global: allows you to easily see what any Google search results look like in outer countries, cities and zip codes… exactly as if you were in that location.
Just have it installed and set your preferred locations in the addon options:
From now on, whenever you need to see any local results, just right-click in Google search results and select your location (or you can open all local search results – each in a new tab):
Do you ever have to deal with search results in different languages or from different locations? Please share your tips!